There’s a new internet provider in Fort Collins, Colo.: the city itself. In August 2019, Fort Collins joined the growing list of municipalities that deliver broadband Internet as a utility service. Named the Fort Collins Connexion, the new offering was authorized in 2017 by voters frustrated with commercial internet providers. As the city began its journey to becoming an internet provider, Fort Collins Utilities realized its existing customer information system (CIS) couldn’t support a broadband service or the necessary integrations. Additionally, Fort Collins Utilities wanted a CIS that could integrate billing for all utility services. 

After a review of CIS options, Fort Collins chose a third-party solution that runs on the Oracle database platform. Although the city already had an on-premises Oracle infrastructure, growth over time meant it had become a complex sprawl of servers, Oracle database appliances and software. It became clear this traditional model couldn’t deliver the availability, scalability, disaster recovery and licensing flexibility the new CIS needed. It also wouldn’t allow Fort Collins IT staff to easily consolidate database workloads for other applications and departments. 

“A processor-based licensing model makes it expensive to grow as needed, especially when you’re trying to consolidate workloads onto servers with different combinations of licenses,” says Anthony Sanchez, IT architect for the city. “For the new CIS, we would need to configure multiple hardware units to support the on-premises database licenses.” 

The city’s IT team considered a move to cloud to consolidate server infrastructure for reduced costs, dynamic scalability and simpler management. The new CIS proved to be a good first system to implement a new server and storage infrastructure using a hybrid cloud design.

Combining On-Premises and Cloud Resources 

The Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer solution now hosts the CIS in the city’s on-premises data center, using a private cloud to support Oracle environments in a multitenant configuration. The process involved configuring server and network resources on the Oracle Cloud, then installing and configuring production and development/testing clusters of the onsite Exadata Database Machine hardware. Today, all Connexion databases are running in this system and separate clusters support the city’s other Oracle databases. 

As the public segment of the cloud design, Fort Collins will use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) server and data storage resources for disaster recovery. These resources, located in another state, will run the CIS and other critical databases if the city’s data center experiences an outage. A site-to-site virtual private network link will connect the Fort Collins data center to Oracle cloud, where the Oracle Database Cloud Services Extreme Edition will match the database capabilities of the on-premises infrastructure.

Creating a Hybrid Cloud Solution

Ready to get started?

Contact the Arisant Team | (303) 330-4065 |